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Last Updated: Monday, 8 September, 2003, 10:34 GMT 11:34 UK
Dawson backs Catt return
Mike Catt evades Ireland's David Humphrey
Catt will cover the stand-off and centre positions
Mike Catt's return to England's squad ahead of the World Cup has been applauded by his international team-mate Matt Dawson.

Catt, 31, has come back into the fold after two years in the international wilderness with a string of injuries.

Having suffered a calf strain on the 2001 Lions tour to Australia, the Bath midfield man has had to contend with a hamstring injury and subsequent back complaint.

But Dawson is delighted to see him included in Clive Woodward's World Cup squad of 30 and expects him to make a seamless transition back onto the international stage.

"He has always been one of the fittest, that's never going to be a problem for him, and he has been playing rugby regularly for the last four weeks," the scrum-half said.

"There will be a lot of press about his involvement but he would always be in my XV.

"If you put him in the right position he can create some real magic."

Dawson is already feeling the "buzz" of the World Cup as the countdown continues to England's first game against Georgia on 12 October.

"There will be plenty of banter flying around. The media are going to get stuck into us and everything's going to be against us, but it will be a great environment to play in," he added.

"Australia is possibly one of the greatest nations to go and have a World Cup. Whatever the sport they seem to do it well."

And he had a word of warning for those building up England's chances, particularly after their successful summer tours of New Zealand and Australia.

"Winning down there gave us a little bit of belief. Maybe we didn't need it but the World Cup's going to be harder and it's nice to have it in the locker.

"Everyone's writing off Australia but you'd be mad to do that with them at home."





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